Archive for October 28th, 2014

Lock-down/shut-down of University of Malaya to prevent Anwar from speaking to students is latest example of “first world infrastructure, third world mentality” afflicting our universities which will condemn the nation to a future of mediocrity

Imaging the lock-down of the University of Oxford and the shut-down of all electricity supplies to plunge one of the leading universities in the world into darkness just to deny the British Opposition Leader, Edward Miliband from returning to his alma mater campus to address the undergraduates?

Or imaging the lock-down of Monash University and the shut down of all electricity supplies to prevent the Australian Opposition Leader William Shorten from addressing students in his alma mater university, which had advertised itself online thus: “Monash is ranked in the top one per cent of world universities – 91st in the world – according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2013/14”. (Monash this month improved its franking in the THE World University Rankings in 2014/15 to No. 83).

Banish both thoughts, for it would be completely unthinkable that such silly notions would be entertained by any self-respecting university administrator or even political leader in United Kingdom – just as it would be completely unthinkable that world-class American universities like Harvard, Stanford, California Institute of Technology or Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) would be locked down or their electricity supplies completely shut down to prevent Opposition politicians from returning to their alma mater universities to speak to the university students.

Former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s indictment of Malaysia a decade ago as “a nation of first-class infrastructure but third-world mentality” is even more telling and relevant today in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Malaysia in 2014. Read the rest of this entry »


Why is Universiti Malaya afraid of Anwar Ibrahim?

— P Ramakrishnan
October 27, 2014

OCTOBER 27 — We can understand why Barisan Nasional, particularly Umno, is so terrified of Anwar Ibrahim. If anyone can send the BN packing off from Putrajaya, it has to be Anwar.

He is the only one who can hold Pakatan Rakyat together and mount an effective challenge to unseat BN from Putrajaya. He is the only one who can galvanise the Malays and non-Malays to come together to bring about a change in government.

Anwar is undoubtedly a political threat to the BN’s power and position. So they fear him — with justification!

Why is Universiti Malaya afraid of Anwar? Is he any threat to UM? What kind of threat does he pose to UM? Why are they imposing a ban on his speaking engagement at the invitation of the UM Students’ Council? Read the rest of this entry »


In UM student protest, leaders see third-wave rising for reform

By Zurairi AR
Malay Mail Online
October 28, 2014

PETALING JAYA, Oct 28 ― Malaysia looks to have a brighter future with a new generation of student activists who last night stood up to an authoritarian administration to preserve their academic freedom, several civil society leaders and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers said.

The prominent speakers at a fundraising dinner attended by close to 1,000 people here last night pointing to the mammoth in-campus demonstration in Universiti Malaya (UM) led by its student council to show solidarity for alumnus Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who returns to the courtroom today to challenge his controversial second sodomy conviction.

“I say we need a third wave of uprising. An uprising of the people of Malaysia to fight and arise,” said DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang, to much applause from the crowd.

According to the Gelang Patah MP, the “first wave” happened in 1998 following Anwar’s sacking from government and first sodomy charge. That period in time has come to be knows as the “reformasi” period.

The “second wave”, Lim added, was in 2008 when PR was formed to go toe-to-toe against the Barisan Nasional (BN) ruling coalition in the 12th General Elections. Read the rest of this entry »


Speaking about context, what about other sedition cases?

27 October 2014

Context, the Attorney-General Chambers said today, was the important ingredient to consider when deciding whether Datuk Ibrahim Ali committed sedition when he threatened to burn bibles that contained the word “Allah” last year.

“As decided by the court, before a statement is said to have seditious tendencies, the statement must be viewed in the context it was made …

“When studied in its entire context, Datuk Ibrahim’s statement is not categorised as having seditious tendencies.

“It was clear Datuk Ibrahim Ali had no intention to create religious tensions, but was only defending the purity of Islam‎,” the AGC said, noting the Perkasa chief also said: “This is not a sentiment or (an attempt) to provoke religious tensions, but to defend the purity of Islam which is clearly (stated) in the laws.”

“He also did not commit any offence under Section 298 or 298A of the Penal Code as he was clearly defending the purity of Islam.”

Right. So the context is this, Ibrahim was not charged because he said he was not attempting to provoke religious tensions but was defending the purity of Islam.

Well, to put it in context, that is a half-baked explanation by the AGC, a comment after the fact.

In any court, this type of mitigation would have been laughed at. Read the rest of this entry »


Students come together in defiance of UM

by Muzliza Mustafa and Lee Shi-Ian
28 October 2014

The students who forced themselves into the University Malaya campus tonight to listen to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speak said the situation would not have come to this if only the university’s administration had not banned the event.

Many felt that the failure by UM in acknowledging academic freedom and the rights of students was what pulled the crowd together.

Wei Yan, 21, a student from UM said what happened last night was historical as students stood united in support of each other.

“This is big. It is not about politics. I just believe that he (Anwar) as an individual should be allowed to address the students in campus, like other leaders. He has given speeches before, but it was outside. This is good because the students could listen and digest what he said,” said Wei Yan.

The event, ‘Pidato Anwar Ibrahim: 40 Tahun Dari UM ke Penjara’, had been declared illegal by UM vice-chancellor of student affairs Professor Datuk Dr Rohana Yusof.

But the crowd, which numbered about 2,000, forced their way through the main gates before Anwar arrived and spoke for about 20 minutes. Read the rest of this entry »

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